Home #Hwoodtimes Culture Club Slays Thousand Oaks

Culture Club Slays Thousand Oaks

By Gordon Durich

Thousand Oaks, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/26/23 – With such hit after hit, media hype and controversy over decades in the music business, and his personal life, one probably expects a lot from Boy George.  I did. And it was a different Boy and his band, Culture Club I witnessed on a rare stormy night in Thousand Oaks.

I saw Culture Club circa 1970s in Sydney, Australia, and it was a fantastic production, with Boy George even dressing in a kimono during one set. The show in T.O. was stripped down, but heavy on video clips playing on a mega screen above the band.  The original members, Roy Hay and Mikey Craig rejoined George for this tour of the U.S. under the banner “OneBerlin World One Love.”

The singles from “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” to “Karma Chameleon” were all there, arranged and mixed somewhat differently, which was fine.  Sound and audio were a problem – Muddy, and vocals that seemed clipped and not powerful. Understandable, but a bit disappointing. Then there was the –no fault of the musicians – an electrical outage for 45 uncomfortable minutes – blamed on the storm which inside the theater damaged an electrical connection. Host Richard Blade apologized on behalf of Boy, and even Culture Club’s manager told the almost full house it was “his” fault.

The most entertaining bits of the show were Boy George’s banter (“Thousand Oaks – lots of trees.) and his clones and Halloween-esque parade of fans lined up to see the show.  Also, mention must be made of the hard-core opening set by Berlin, with a huge shout-out to lead singer Terri Nunn and her tight, powerhouse band.

Culture Club played many covers from a reggae-flavored version of “Everything I Own” by Bread to Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy.”

It was a blast to meet George after the concert.  He was very personable and wore more make-up than my wife. I reminded him of the Gay Mardi Gras happening in Sydney and he said, “I Know.”

Overall, it was a memorable experience.